Jean Rozwadowski, a businessman with broad international experience, has been named secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Rozwadowski was unanimously appointed by the ICC World Council at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on the eve of the biennial ICC World Chambers Federation Congress. He will replace Guy Sebban, who retires on July 1 at the end of his four-year term.

“I am delighted and honoured to be joining such an illustrious organisation,” Rozwadowski said in accepting his position. “In these times of dramatic and accelerating change, it is more important than ever to strengthen ICC’s mission as the voice of global business in promoting a rules-based multilateral trading system and international cooperation.”

“Protectionism and other challenges to globalisation must be firmly addressed,” he added.

Rozwadowski’s nomination was approved by the ICC World Council following the recommendation of the ICC executive board. The nomination was concluded after a robust global search which started with some 100 names.

“Jean Rozwadowski is the right man at the right time for our organisation and for the international business community,” said ICC chairman Victor Fung. “He will lead ICC at a time of major global shifts when protectionist pressures are increasing and the global recession has sharply reduced international trade.”

According to the selection committee, Rozwadowski easily fulfilled the criteria it sought in a new secretary general, namely strong international business experience coupled with a track record in managing change, delivering quality customer service in member-driven organisations, and developing innovative products and solutions to enhance revenue.

Rozwadowski was president of the Latin American and Caribbean division of MasterCard between 1999 and 2004. Before that he was the company’s executive vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in Belgium.

Before joining MasterCard, Rozwadowski held numerous executive positions during a 20-year career with American Express, heading up the Southeast Asia and Middle East divisions, based in Singapore and Bahrain, respectively, and leading American Express operations in Brazil for six years. The new secretary general also served as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paolo, Brazil.